SEAL ARREST RECORDS
A ’rap sheet’ contains information on both arrests and convictions. An arrest is when you are booked in jail but no charges were filed. A conviction is when you plead guilty or no contest. It also occurs if you were found guilty by a jury.
If you were ever arrested and no charges were filed or the charges were dismissed, you still have a record of the arrest on your rap sheet. When a background check is performed on you, the arrest will show up. This may cause an employer or whoever runs the background on you to fail your background check.
Most people believe if their case is dismissed or the district attorney never filed charges that the arrest record no longer exists. Unfortunately, the arrest does not just disappear.
For example, a company that runs a background check on you can discover a prior criminal arrest by searching the internet for your name at the courthouse or government website. All criminal cases are free public information. The arrest record, the police report, finger prints, case disposition, etc., still exist unless you have your attorney file a motion to seal your record.
Most companies, employers and state licensing boards require you disclose whether you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Furthermore, you will be asked, “Have you ever been arrested?”. Your prior arrest will have an adverse affect on your chance for employment and give your employer a reason to deny you the job.
The impact of sealing an arrest record is enormous. Your entire record, finger prints, booking photo and arrest report are sealed and destroyed. They are deleted from the department of justice computer. The arrest is considered to never have happened. The arrest does not exist.
The process to seal and destroy arrest records is quite lengthy, but at the end is well worth the time and effort. We will file a motion to destroy the arrest record so there will be no record whatsoever of your arrest on your rap sheet. This is filed under Penal Code section 851.8.
The first step is to contact the law enforcement agency that arrested you and request that they destroy the arrest records. If they agree that you are factually innocent, they can sign a stipulation that we will prepare for court. We will file it and forward it to the department of justice. This means they will seal the arrest records for three years. Afterwards, they will destroy the arrest records. If the law enforcement agency does not sign the petition or does not respond within 60 days, then we will file a petition under penal code 851.8. This will ask the court to order that the arrest records get destroyed.
There must be a hearing for the court to sign the petition to order the destruction of the arrest records. The prosecutor will receive notice of the hearing and they can file their opposition. At the hearing, all of the evidence is brought before the court to determine factual innocence. The court hears everything including the police reports, testimony from witnesses and any other relevant evidence.
When your the motion is granted, the court will send the order to seal your records to the department of justice. Sealing of the records will also cause the department of justice to destroy all of your finger prints, booking photo and police arrest reports maintained by the law enforcement agency.
Once the records are sealed and destroyed, your record is deleted. It’s like the arrest never occurred. The department of justice will delete references to the arrest from your rap sheet. The law enforcement agency will provide you a written declaration that states that you are factually innocent of the criminal offense. This will deem you ‘exonerated’ of all criminal liability.
We do all the work form start to finish. This includes researching, drafting, preparing, filing of the both the petition to the arresting agency and subsequent filings with the court. In addition, we serve the district attorney or attorney general’s office. Finally, we appear at the hearing and argue your case to the judge. We prepare all orders for the judge’s signature and we pay all court fees.
Contact us today the initial consultation is free.
WE CAN HELP SEAL ARREST RECORDS. DON’T HESITATE – CALL US NOW!
Orange County Law Offices of Stull & Stull
Adam R. Stull, Esq.
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Toll Free: 877-815-7421